"Shush!": New York City Mayor Bloomberg Vetoes Cell Phone Bill

News   "Shush!": New York City Mayor Bloomberg Vetoes Cell Phone Bill Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vetoed the bill banning cell phone use, which was introduced Aug. 15, 2002, by Councilman Phil Reed at New York's City Hall.

The Associated Press reports that Bloomberg's letter to the city clerk said, "We do not hesitate to shush. Some standards of conduct, not directly affecting public health or safety, can best be enforced not through legislation but through less formal means.''

Bloomberg said that the bill, which would make cell phone use illegal "any place where members of the public assemble to witness cultural, recreational or educational activities," would be too difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

The City Council does have enough votes to override the Mayor's veto; however, it is unclear when such a vote would take place. The New York City Council's Consumer Affairs Committee had passed the bill — by a vote of four to one — Nov. 19, 2002.

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Councilman Reed previously said, "A lot of people — most people, a majority of people — want to obey the law. It's like the penal code, the health code — there's no smoking in a restaurant, people don't do it. But right now, turning off a cell phone is a request; it's not a law. If it's helpful to the management of the theatre, that's a good thing — it's empowering to be able to say, 'You're violating the law, it's against the law to talk on the phone, turn it off.' And if you have somebody who's going to continue to talk and talk and talk, the management can insist they stop. They can say, 'I'm going to get a police officer.'"